Saturday, November 5, 2022

When Superstitions Rule The Roost

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 05 November 2022 "Bharat mein dharmguru, aksar raajneeti aur netaaon ki aad mein apna dhaarmik ulloo seedha karte hain." (Godmen in India often realize their religious ambitions through politics and politicians) ... The criminal and extremely controversial godman Ram Rahim is again out on parole when elections are going on. Third time in the past year, his release from the slammer has coincided with elections. Is it a coincidence or an example of blatant political opportunism which enables such reprehensible characters to 'preach' and hobnob at regular intervals with their utterly asinine followers? Gurmeet Ram Rahim, convicted in two separate cases of murder, and a charge of rape, deserves to have been hanged in the first place. That he got life imprisonment for his heinous crimes is itself freedom and akin to parole and furlough (a parole is for a specific exigency; and a furlough, a general break from imprisonment, according to the Supreme Court). The nexus of dubious spirituality and politics was highlighted by Nehru's private secretary M O Mathai (1909–28 August 1981) in his memoirs in Reminiscences of the Nehru Age (1978) and My Days with Nehru (1979). The readers are aware that even a Cambridge-educated, rationalist like Jawaharlal Nehru was pretty 'close' to Shraddha Mata, his rather irrational daughter Indira Priyadarshini promoted crooks like Dhirendra Brahmachari and Devaria baba (aka Machaan Baba) of Devaria in Eastern UP. Politicians of all hues and shades are well aware that the crude and instant 2-minute Maggi-type 'spirituality' of godmen and godwomen is the primary weakness of the Indian masses. To a shrewd political party and its politicians, godmen and godwomen are potential cadres to mobilize the masses politically because the masses are asses and have no brains of their own. That's the reason, even an unmitigated rascal Asaram (Asumal Sirumalani) still has a legion of followers who're convinced that Asaram was framed and that he's innocent! So is his equally dubious son Narayan Sai. As it is, Indian people are inebriated and bedazzled by tawdry spirituality, preached by all fashionable babas who enjoy unquestionable submission from their followers. When a huge section of followers unwaveringly believes in the innocence of their controversial gurus, it's very easy for these charlatans to mislead their imbecile followers. Politicians know that very well because this time-honoured formula has never let them down. In India, godmen and godwomen are political conduits for all political parties and politicians. These duffers (babas) are political buffers and pawns on the chessboard of murky Indian politics. This phenomenon is also indicative of our collective irrationality and our unflinching faith in gurudom and babadom. That a special CBI court in August 2017 held him guilty and sentenced him to prison for 20 years is no deterrent to his blind followers is an insult to the country's legal system and judiciary. His gullible followers are going ga-ga over him and calling him Pitaji! Imagine, this rogue is still a spiritual father to his bovine-brained innumerable followers! Isn't it cringing worthy? As long as the masses behave in such a cloyingly servile manner, people like Ram Rahim, Asaram, Nirmal Baba, Sant Rampal, Nityanand, Ichachadhari Bhimanand, Swami Omji, Radhe Ma, to name but a few will keep sprouting and polluting the minds as well as India's political landscape. It's a quid pro quo equation for both politicians and religious leaders. Alack, sufferers are sane people like you and me. On a different and lighter note, now Gurmeet Ram Rahim has become Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim! How can people so nonchalantly use the honorific Dr before their names is beyond my ken? This criminal didn't even complete his school education and now his congenitally foolish and sycophantic followers address him Dr Ram Rahim! Are Doctorate degrees so cheap in India? I must add in the end that this 'polymath' rogue writes, sings and composes his own songs. Jay Baba! ... A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. ---- URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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